Brown applauds drivers after ‘most popular team’ vote

Date published: October 24 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo during the photoshoot at pre-season testing. Bahrain March 2021.

Zak Brown has applauded the attitude of McLaren’s drivers after the team were voted the most popular team in a fan survey.

In a survey conducted by Nielsen and Motorsport Network, fans from 187 countries recently cast their votes in a huge Formula 1 data-gathering quest.

A total of 167,302 people responded voting for their favourite drivers and teams on the current grid, and McLaren got the most votes in the latter.

They received 29.5% of the vote, ahead of Red Bull and Ferrari who had 19.7% and 17.9% respectively, and Brown says such a result is flattering.

“All the men and women that are working so hard at McLaren… So it’s flattering,” he said.

“We try and put on a great show for the fans, and our partners, and it’s nice to see a very positive response from a big group of fans around the world.”

The team have become far more popular in recent times, with them only receiving 15.8% in the last fan vote that was conducted in 2017.

That most likely has a lot to do with the fact that they have enjoyed far more success in the last few seasons, going from the back of the grid to the top of the midfield.

The factor Brown singled out though was the drivers, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, who he feels are excellent with fans.

 

“We try and be a fun racing team, an inclusive racing team,” he added.

“[We have] drivers that are very open, communicate with our fans frequently and often, and speak with them, listen to them. We’re just kind of doing our thing, and it’s nice to see them react so positively to it.

“I’m a huge fan of the sport. It wasn’t long ago I was sitting in the grandstand and try to understand what would get me excited about the sport. So we’re just trying to provide that experience back to the fans, and it seems to be working.”

Brown’s view that his drivers play a part in the popularity of the team is backed up by the vote for the most popular driver, with Norris being the second most popular after Max Verstappen.

The Brit also received the most votes of anyone from female fans – featuring in 57% of top threes – and those aged 24 and under.